FORMER star ALP recruit Maxine McKew has slammed the party's policy on asylum seekers and criticised the ''hypocrisy'' of one of the party's former backroom operatives. In her first interview since losing the seat of Bennelong in the August 2010 election, Ms McKew labelled Labor's Malaysia plan a ''disgrace''.
''I didn't door-knock nearly a quarter of the electorate in Bennelong for us to have arrived at this position,'' she told The Sun-Herald. ''What we've got is the legacy of Howard and Ruddock still with us and we've now apparently embraced it. I find that profoundly depressing.''
Ms McKew has kept a low profile since her election loss. With her partner, the former ALP national secretary Bob Hogg, she has moved to Melbourne and taken on a ''portfolio'' of jobs, paid and voluntary.
Ms McKew is still highly critical of the way Labor's party machine works. On the recent call of former national secretary Karl Bitar for less timidity and cynicism in Australian politics, she is scathing.
''Here's Karl, a former national secretary, now chiding ministers for their timidity when Karl helped shop Morris Iemma out of office as premier of NSW because he wanted to do the courageous thing and sell NSW electricity assets,'' Ms McKew said. ''There's a fair bit of hypocrisy around.''